With one in three people aged 15 years and over categorised as being obese, the weight loss goal is commonly sought, yet often quickly surrendered by many, with approximately 80% of those that do manage to shed body fat being unable to maintain it for longer than 12 months.
While the reasons behind high diet failure rates are multi-faceted, one culprit may be the great deal of misinformation and confusion created from the trending health fads. It takes only seconds of internet research or social media interaction to see others swear by a range of fad or restrictive diets for weight loss including the keto diet, caveman (paleo) diet, lemon water detoxing, intermittent fasting – and plenty more. With 28% of people turning to friends and relatives for their diet advice and 45% turning to the internet where diet recommendations are often delivered by those that are paid to promote it regardless of its risk-benefit profile, getting genuine, relevant and realistic information about effective, sustainable weight loss can be a challenge – unless you have a dietitian on your side.
Here’s why dietitians can be your key to successful, long-term weight loss – even if you’ve struggled for years with yo-yo diets and haven’t been able to reach your weight goals yet.
First: What Does A Dietitian Do?
Dietitians are qualified, registered health professionals that specialise in food and nutrition, and how the two work together to influence a person’s health and their quality of life. Instead of making ‘one size fits all’ generalisations about nutrition, a large part of a dietitian’s role is to get to know you and your nutritional status, your life, your challenges, your food preferences, your goals and your medical history – such as having diabetes or high cholesterol. Your dietitian then combines this information with scientific evidence to create a unique strategy to meet your goals, whether that’s weight loss, better managing your diabetes, improving the way you feel every day – or something else.
You Don’t Have To Be Unwell Or Overweight To Work With A Dietitian
While having allergies, coeliac disease and excess weight are common reasons to work with a dietitian, many New Zealanders work with dietitians to simply optimise their nutrition, ensuring they’re getting the right nutrition to perform at their best. Our body’s nutritional requirements can change significantly depending on the season of life we’re in – such as in pregnancy or when training for an athletic event – and professional advice and knowledge gives many better control and peace of mind over their nutritional health.
Dietitian Help With Weight Loss – It’s Proven
Working with a dietitian is proven to help with weight loss. A recent study split its participants into two groups – one that worked with a dietitian, getting a customised plan, and one without, left to lose weight on their own. While the group working with a dietitian lost weight, reduced their blood sugar levels and started taking medication less often that the control group, the control group failed to lose weight – gaining a small amount of weight instead.
What these results demonstrate is the impact of getting unique, personalised guidance, advice, and a practical, realistic plan that is grounded in science – not a fad. Many people rely on a ‘it worked for her, so it should work for me’ approach that fails to acknowledge a person’s unique circumstances. In reality, it’s impossible to compare a single adult responsible solely for their own cooking and nutrition to one responsible for cooking for a family of five every night, someone that has a flexible work environment with time to exercise and eat well versus someone that spends all day working without a real break so turn to high-energy food, or someone that does not have financial constraints when it comes to grocery shopping compared to someone that does. Even personal food preferences vary greatly from person to person. All of these points – and so many more – is what a dietitian evaluates and considers when creating your personalised plan.
Dietitians Keep You Accountable Through Your Weight Loss Journey
Another key benefit of working with a dietitian is that they keep you accountable through your weight loss journey, while equipping you with information and skills to make the best nutritional decisions in your daily life. With every appointment, you’re able to discuss the situations you find yourself in that may cause you to deviate from your plan, the challenges you’re facing, or any changes in your circumstances. Your dietitian can then help you learn new tips and strategies to keep you moving towards your goals, while re-evaluating your plan to see if updates should be made based on the results and outcomes you’re getting. Over time, as your nutritional confidence grows, you’ll be better able to manage your day-to-day journey – and ideally you will finally see the weight loss results you’ve been waiting for.
Dietitians Separate Fact From Fiction
One day, fats are the enemy. The next day, fats are great, but carbs are the enemy and should be avoided at all costs. Sound familiar? Another role of dietitians is to separate fact from fiction, giving you the real evidence-based information, and teaching you a healthy and sustainable way of eating and making food choices.
Weight Loss For The Long-Term
Shifting to a dietitian’s perspective, what they do isn’t at all about putting you on yet another “diet”. It’s about helping you lose weight in a way that works for your body and your life, that you’re able to sustain for the long-term. These are shifts in daily behaviours and the patterns you currently hold – a common example being the tendency to snack when a person feels stressed or bored, but have recently eaten and aren’t actually hungry.
See A Dietitian – Without The Upfront Cost
If you’re wanting to lose weight, your dietitian can provide you with a clear, unique roadmap and knowledge to help you get there. And it’s not just you – the behaviours you learn and implement are often passed down to the members of your household, including the younger generations.
While booking in with a dietitian is simple – footing the entire bill can be hard, especially when it’s a cost you haven’t been preparing for. This is where HealthNow, New Zealand’s only health-focused Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) platform, has made seeing a dietitian, and getting any follow-up appointments, affordable by reducing the upfront fees to a fraction of the total price.
app on your smartphone, where your total appointment cost is split over up to six weeks. Unlike other BNPL services that charge fees or interest, which further disadvantage those that are trying to reach their health and weight loss goals, HealthNow remains completely free to users, with dietitians being paid in full by HealthNow on the day of the visit.
You can start using HealthNow today by signing up on the app. You can also check out HealthNow’s full benefits and features, including a health wallet to store funds set aside for health services that can be contributed to by others including your employer.